NEW DELHI: The two-day winter carnival by Jammu and Kashmir UT administration concluded on Monday in Pahalgam with fanfare, witnessing participation by a motley group of locals and visiting tourists in a host of activities and cultural programmes.
This is the second such winter carnival this month in the Valley, first being a joint event by Indian Army and district administration in Gulmarg on February 8 when Bollywood actors Vidya Balan and Arbaaz Khan had turned up there to give a leg-up to tourism.
The Pahalgam festival saw its two-kilometre long market wear a festive look where tourists enjoyed tonga and horse rides while locals street artists enthralled onlookers with various traditional folk and cultural shows.
Various snow sports activities including snowshoeing, mountain biking were also held. Athletes from various districts participated.
The hallmark functions were organised at Pahalgam Club which drew artistes from various parts of the Valley throughout the two days demonstrated their skills live in calligraphy, painting, pottery, singing and other activities.
Kashmir tourism director Dr G N Itoo said the carnival received a huge response to tourism in the Valley.
He said the objective of the event was to promote Pahalgam as a winter destination and invite tourists from across the country to the Valley for holidays as the inclement weather recedes even though snowfall continues to remains an attraction.
“This event has been a part of our series of promotional programmes to revive the tourism sector which had been adversely affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to promote the popular resort for the winter season also. With the successful conduct of the event, a positive message has got across the country that Kashmir is abuzz with activities and travellers can come and enjoy their holidays,” said Itoo.
Notable artist Saima Shafia held a live demonstration of pottery, with soulful performances from rabab players and singers keeping the audience glued to these events.
Later, renowned local singers like Waqar Khan, Noor Muhammad, Shazia Bashir, Abid Ali, Adil Manzoor, Shugufta joined fusion music artiste Irfan Bilal and comedian Anil Chingari for a power-packed performance.
The organisation had set up 40 stalls displaying traditional art, craft, ethnic cuisine, street food, etc had been set up at the cub by various departments including Tourism, JKTDC, handicrafts, forest, fisheries.
J&K Women’s Development Corporation, School of Design, Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering, adventure tour operators of Pahalgam and other private entrepreneurs had also set up their kiosks.
Deputy Commissioner Anantnag Anshul Garg was also present at the event.